FOOTSORE eco-warrior Andreas Gschwari arrives on Wearside as he continues his mammoth 4,600-mile coastline walk.
The 34-year-old is carrying out the gruelling challenge in a bid to raise £10,000 for conservation charity Trees for Life, which works to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.
IT designer Andreas – who is originally from the Austrian Alps but has lived in the UK for 10 years – is spending all of 2011 and early 2012 on his Walking for Trees adventure, trekking around the UK and several outlying islands.
He said: “I want to raise as much money as possible for Trees for Life, and to highlight the importance of conservation and tackling climate change, while enjoying a challenging but fun journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
“The idea for the walk just popped into my head.
“Bringing together my love for the outdoors and this magnificent country, with promoting conservation and raising money for Trees for Life’s brilliant work, is a perfect combination.”
Andreas is a long-time supporter of Trees for Life and has twice joined the charity’s Conservation Holiday Weeks, which allow people of all ages to take part in conservation work in the Highlands.
“Trees for Life is an excellent charity that works tirelessly to restore the Caledonian Forest,” he said.
“It has achieved remarkable results, planting over 900,000 trees so far.
“Habitats have been created and wildlife has returned to previously barren areas.
“This work has had a profound impact on the Highlands and is tremendously important.”
During the journey, Andreas, who lives in Surrey, is mainly camping to keep costs down, with some stops at friends’ houses, youth hostels and occasional B&Bs to dry out, get warm and do his laundry.
He set off from Brighton in February, and plans to return within a year.
To sponsor the Andreas visit www.walking-for-trees.org.uk, which also links to his blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.
For more information about the charity, visit www.treesforlife.org.uk or call 0845 458 3505.